Intel 2Q 2017 earnings are set for release on Thursday after closing bell, and Wall Street is looking for non-GAAP earnings of around 68 cents per share on $14.4 billion in revenue. The chip maker is trying to stand its ground against upstarts NVIDIA and AMD, so investors will be looking for signs that AMD’s new Ryzen chips haven’t been a serious threat so far.
Intel 2Q 2017 earnings
Macquarie analyst Srini Pajjuri said in a note to investors earlier this week that everything in the Intel 2Q 2017 earnings report is about the company’s new Purley processors. He’s looking for a “decent quarter” and predicts three key focus areas: growth in data centers, share shifts in PC chips and discipline in operating expenditures.
He believes Intel’s Data Center Group saw an increase in growth during the second quarter and is now picking up momentum in the second half of the year on the back of ramps in the company’s Purley chips. He also expects the chip maker to reiterate its growth guidance for data centers in the high-single digits for the full year, although he still expects to see upside to their projection.
The analyst also notes that Intel is up against easier comparisons. He adds that average selling prices should receive a boost from the 500,000 early shipments of Purley chips, as historically, this segment has seen about five to six points of increase in average selling prices following new product launches. He expects the second half of the year to receive a bigger boost from Purley because of “the performance, features, and customization.”
AMD has prepared its own server chip line called Epyc, although Panjjuri isn’t at all concerned about this scrappy chip maker, as he sees Intel ultimately holding its ground.
Intel faces off with AMD’s Ryzen chips
The second quarter was the first full quarter of availability for AMD’s Ryzen chips, which are widely seen as what the chip maker needs to take on Intel. AMD shares surged following the company’s earnings report this week as Ryzen products led its strong growth. Cryptocurrency mining demand also drove strong demand.
Despite this, Pajjuri doesn’t see AMD or its Ryzen chips as a serious threat for Intel. He expects Intel 2Q 2017 earnings to prove it, as he believes that any share gains AMD gained in the PC market were limited to the “Enthusiast sub-segment.” The Ryzen chips are very powerful and designed to target the market for high-end gaming PCs.
Pajjuri also believes that Intel’s outlook for its PC segment this year is “conservative enough,” as it guided for a decline in the mid-single digits.
Ahead of Intel 2Q 2017 earnings, the chip maker’s stock tipped higher on Wednesday during regular trading hours, closing up 0.23% at $34.75.